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View Diary: Index of Educational Alternatives Homeschooling Series (9 comments)

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  •  My two cents... (2+ / 0-)
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    Azazello, elmo

    I guess I'm a bit shocked to see that there's a significant home-schooling community on this site.  As a fan of public education, let me (try to) list the reasons for and against home-schooling your children...

    It's your choice
    The biggest (and perhaps) the only reason I have in favor of home-schooling is that it's available as a choice for all parents.  Without this choice, we're reduced to a world where unnamed bureaucrats take away your kids and teach them god-only-knows-what.  So, kudos for all who venture down the home-schooling path... it's keeping our public schools honest.

    It's a full time job
    Isn't it?  Is this something you can do before/after you go to work?  No... it's something that someone has to spend their day working on.  And so, in my view, it's about as elitist as sending your kids to a private school.  In one case, you have enough time, in the other you have enough money.  I never seem to have enough of either.  If you're able to home-school your kids or send them to a private school, then good for you.  But that doesn't help the rest of us.

    Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
    The folks who teach at public schools have (at least) some sort of certification that says they're capable of handling the material and presenting it to the students.  I really don't know any couple that I would trust with the education of my son.  They might think that they're more than capable, but... well, I'll just leave it at that.  To me, the diary of the parent who tried to teach string-theory was quite disturbing.

    Play-Dates are not "socialization"
    The biggest benefit I had from my public education was from being around all sort of kids from all sorts of backgrounds with all sorts of talents.  I learned to be respectful and polite to everyone, and learned that every kid has a good side (even the ones that were supposed to be not-so-good).  Ain't no way this is happening at home or at social events orchestrated by the parents.

    Where's the mutual benefit?
    With charter schools, I can see how lessons learned by a charter school can be applied to the public schools and be a benefit for all.  How does this work with home schooling?  I see that home-schoolers exchange ideas and (perhaps) improve things, but with what metric?  And (if they are improving things in a way that we all agree is worthwhile) how can those ideas be applied to public education?
    And, I guess, this is my biggest problem with home-schooling.  My Mom isn't a dullard, but she really wanted us to memorize things.  Why?  Who knows... but she thought it was important.  If she decided to home-school us, then I'm sure that I would have been able to recite half of David Copperfield by the time I was sixteen.  And if, God forbid, my Mom found some other home-schoolers who also thought that memorization was important, they would have unearthed any number of very effective ways of getting us to memorize things.  And I'd be a sooper-genius if the ability to memorize had any value... or a freakish bum otherwise.  

    You can't let naysayers (like me) get you down
    I have no hope for the folks who home-school their kids so that they'll learn that humans lived during the age of dinosaurs.  Maybe the folks in this home-schooling community will achieve some sort of break-through... maybe it's that kids learn more from gardening than from book-lernin' (although my son's elementary school did stress it's vegetable garden).  Maybe it's that you only need 15 minutes of "lecture time" every two hours to be effective.  I don't know... but I do know that without you home-schoolers we'll never know.

    Don't be a DON'T-DO... Be a DO-DO!

    by godwhataklutz on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:10:32 PM PDT

    •  Just some replies.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim, elmo, leftyparent

      It's your choice: Yes, yes it is. And sometimes it's the best choice, it really depends on the parent, the child and the circumstances. Home schooling is not for everyone. For some of us however, homeschooling meant salvation for our child.

      Full time job: It actually takes less time so far as actual teaching time goes than public school does, because it's all one on one. YOu don't have to wait for a whole class of kids to finish, you don't have to handle nearly the amount of discipline problems, and you don't have the wait in line times. It does take a lot of planning and work though. It does NOT have to take a lot of money. I know homeschoolers who utilize entirely library books and free sites and information online. You should read "Homeschooling on a Shoestring" in the above list.

      Are you smarter than a fifth grader: I have an AS my other half has a BS. I am also capable of doing research. I teach my children how to do research as well. Sometimes knowing how to find the answers and learning from ones mistakes is much better than memorizing the answers.

      Socialization: Not every child can handle the same level of socialization. For my son 'socialization' at school meant constant bullying from the time he got on the bus in the morning until the time he got off the bus at home. Now that he was able to learn socialization skills at his own speed, he's got more friends, more real friends then he ever had in his life, including a girl friend.

      Mutual Benefit: I can use my childrens interests and abilities to the best advantage while I teach them. They learn skills they need to know in life, not just how to pass a test. Things like cooking, cleaning, job skills, how to balance a budget, how to navigate the world and their disabilities. This may not benefit 'public education' now, but it will enable them to be independent and productive adults. It's definitely not skills they were learning in public school. I volunteered in schools, I was in Americorps before they were in school, I can volunteer again when they're done. They only have so many years of formal education. I have my entire life to advocate. We also went on marches and advocated for teachers as part of their education.

      Naysayers: Why do you need any "lecture time"? We learn things together and then we discuss them. I don't lecture at him. I don't have to lecture at him. For one, he doesn't process audio well or quickly and he would miss most of a lecture anyway. I do use some collegiate youtube lectures, but many times he pauses those and asks questions, or replays bits if he finds his focus gone. Most of us combine "book learning" with hands on learning. Both have their place. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:29:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Grumpy Early Morning reply after no sleep: (1+ / 0-)
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        Play-dates are not socialization

        The Lord of the Flies type environments are not appropriate modes of socialization either.

        The assumption there, is that the way that we socialize is somehow inferior to the way public school kids socialize.

        If you say so.

        Am I smarter than a 5th Grader?

        Are you?

        It's a full time job.

        Well duh. And it should be.

        Where is the mutual benefit?

        So I am to take it that you believe that somehow I am personally responsible for the abysmal failures of society in general, the school-to-prison-pipeline, tracking, the high cost of higher education, the failure of standardized testing, the international issue with bullying [did I miss anything].

        What mutual benefit would that be? That if only I were to cast my children into *that gaping maw, that somehow their mere presence would transform all of that into an educational utopia peopled by talking genius unicorns?

        Or am I to interpret this as: "All the Cool Parents are doing it!"

        Either way, I see no *mutual benefit at this point.

        As for what Nay-Sayers like you *imagine that goes on when people homeschool for those 15 minute lectures every 2 hours--really?

        That is what you think?

        15 minute learning blocks are traditionally allocated for young children who have shorter attention spans. Good gods.

        I suppose if I were teaching Young Earth Creationism, I might only need 15 minute blocks, but since we are studying conventional Science, my kids require more time to complete their studies. I hope you can forgive me for failing to live down to your expectations.


    •  Society benefits (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftyparent, FloridaSNMOM

      by having citizens who are capable of intelligent thought and who care about being contributing members of the community. Remember, that's the goal (hopefully) of any education.

    •  "You can't let naysayers (like me) get you down" (0+ / 0-)

      Don't worry.

      I don't.

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